Inspire the young for the lift industry
The European Commission recently started tackling the youth unemployment issue. Europe is taking action by introducing schemes that will help young people acquire essential workplace skills.
In June 2015, the European Alliance for Apprenticeships was formed, co-ordinated by the Commission to provide better apprenticeships for young people, strengthening the existing perception, volume and skillset of apprenticeships.
At the same time, in the lift and escalator engineering sector, the industry is facing a skills shortage. Kone, one of the global leaders in the lift and escalator industry, recently estimated that in 2014 over 12.5 million lift and escalators were in operation world wide, with over 815.000 new units installed.
Ensuring continued growth
The problem the sector is experiencing is that there are not enough individuals with the correct skills and qualifications available to fill the roles required. The need for skilled candidates within the industry is critical to ensure continued growth rates in 2016. It is essential to work with schemes such as the European Alliance for Apprenticeships to promote the value of the industry to the young people of Europe and to encourage them to fill vacant positions.
Apprenticeship schemes bring many values to businesses but the benefits are not always widely understood. The key benefits of apprentices to a company are:
- Up to 75 percent reduction in employment costs
- Minimal recruiting costs
- Maximum impact through on site training
- Sector relevant training and certification
- Improved corporate social responsibility image
- Work ethic and principles of the business can be taught early on
- Can be tailored to specific job roles reflecting needs of the business
Loyal staff through apprenticeship schemes
These schemes will ultimately lead to valued and loyal staff that will be less likely to seek alternative employment, improving staff retention levels. Offering apprenticeship schemes is also a good way for businesses to retain or upskill existing staff, further enhancing the value of the business.
Whilst some businesses in the industry have implemented similar schemes for years and are aware of the benefits, major companies are barely taking part. Reluctance in taking on apprentices can be due to the lack of funding opportunities or health and safety restrictions on site. The long term benefits of apprentices need to be considered.
Making a contribution
Since the European Alliance for Apprenticeships was formed it has been signed by 26 EU Member States and five non EU countries. Each country has made national and public commitments to implement steps that will try and solve this issue. In addition to this, 84 pledges have been made by companies and business associations, chambers of commerce, research institutes and more.
Leaping forward using the "resource"
It is more important now than ever that previous misconceptions surrounding apprenticeships stop and thinking about the real benefits of implementing such programs start.
A brighter future could be achieved for individual businesses and also for the entire industry if this resource will be used as soon as possible. Acknowledging the advantages being made across Europe and implementing supportive action swiftly will be a great leap forward.
Brett Ennals, Geschäftsführer Cento – Lift and Escalator jobs